Carrot Cinnamon Cake is to die for! Made with the goodness of carrots during the winter season with loads of walnuts. The cake is delicious, with just the right hint of cinnamon to hit the taste buds. I love adding nutmeg to my winter bakes.
This cake was born when my friend traveled to Mahabaleshwar around the end of December. She was served a carrot cinnamon cake there and she immediately sent me a pic of her half-eaten slice, asking me to decipher the taste from the pic and recreate it. :D
It was beyond funny. Her expectation! But she didn’t let go and kept reminding me to recreate it before carrot season was over.
Finally, I gave in and made attempts to recreate it. I tweaked my old go-to tea cake recipe and took some help online.
My friend is a tough critic, so I gave her a slice hoping it would pass her taste test. I knew if she did not like it, she would politely say that something was missing. :D
Her verdict was that this cake was a very close creation to what she ate in Mahabaleshwar. I wonder if adding nutmeg and a bit of all-spice powder will enhance it further. Next winter this will surely be an attempt.
This carrot cinnamon cake is a different prep using carrot as the main ingredient than gajar ka halwa. Carrot is an immensely healthy vegetable that is a winter season veggie. Though it’s now available throughout the year, nothing matches the flavor of juicy, crunchy, and sweet carrots in winter. Gajar ka halwa is a very popular winter dessert. This cake combines the flavors of carrot with cinnamon in a tea-time cake that makes the winter breakfast special.
Carrot Cinnamon Cake
- Start by bringing all the ingredients to room temperature if they were refrigerated. It’s best to keep the refrigerated ingredients on the counter 30 minutes prior to baking.
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Grease a 6 inch round pan with butter or line it with parchment paper. I used baking spray which worked great.
- Sift together all purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder 2-3 times.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, yogurt, milk and olive oil for 5 minutes on high speed till sugar dissolves. This step is important as beating the mixture will aerate it well and you will get a perfect cake with great crumbs.
- If you are not using a stand mixer, use a hand mixer to whisk the ingredients. Beating it with hands using a wire whisk is also an option but it will require lot of arm strength.
- Add in cinnamon powder and vanilla extract and give a quick stir. Keep scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Slowly fold in grated carrots gently. You do not want to disturb the air that you have incorporated in earlier steps.
- Now add the flour in 2 lots, mixing well after each addition. Keep scraping the sides of the bowl.
- You can add chopped walnuts in the batter as well if you wish. It is optional.
- Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Top with chopped walnuts. Bake at 400 °F (200 °C) for 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 170 °C and bake for 20-25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- If the cake is getting browned from the top too soon, cover it using a piece of aluminum foil. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake rest for 10 minutes in the pan.
- Cool the cake for 30 minutes and then overturn onto a plate. Wait for at least 2 hours before slicing it for neat slices.
- I used vegetable oil for my cake.
- It is best to slice the cake next day, like a quick bread.
- Adding nutmeg and all spice mix can enhance the flavor better I feel, so one can try that.
- You can add other dry fruits like almonds or pistachios depending upon your taste. Raisins can also be added to have a different try at the recipe.
- Cinnamon should be freshly powdered as it will then taste strongly in the cake and give the winter taste to it.
- Variety of carrot should be the ones we get in winters as they are fresh and juicy.
- Measure the ingredients correctly. Use standard cups and spoon measures to measure them.
- All the ingredients must be at room temperature.
- Use best quality ingredients to make this cake.
- After adding the flour, do not overmix the batter.
- This recipe can be halved, doubled, or tripled. Make sure to use the baking pan accordingly. The baking time will also differ.